D1M: #4 Montréal takes down #5 Dallas, 177-128

D1M: #4 Montréal takes down #5 Dallas, 177-128 Photo credit: Duane Baker Photography. facebook.com/duanebakerphotography

MONTRÉAL, QC –  The battle between the #4 Montréal and #5 Dallas was as good as their seeded position implied it would be, with heavy defense and piercing offense coming from both sides. The host league played a determined and well executed game, with a drive to make this year the first time they make it to Championships.

Dallas matched the New Skids on the Block in defense, but Montréal jammers were able to find the gaps more quickly, taking an early lead with lead status advantage. Dallas crept closer in the second half, but couldn’t shake Montréal’s strong grip on the game. New Skids won 177-128.

After a day of extremes—one game decided by four points while another was by 359 points—the final game of the day had the fewest penalties; a feat that produced slow, strategic play. Only three penalties were incurred in the first ten jams, two of which were on Dallas blockers in the second jam, which aided Falcon Punch in picking up three grand slams., Montréal capitalized on keeping all five players on the track, climbing to an early 41-4 lead. After that, scoring was few and far between for both teams as defense locked into strong, braced quad formations.

Dallas started with a three-jammer rotation of Anita Riot, Miley Virus, and Jett; a transfer from NW Arkansas this past Spring. Montréal, meanwhile, had four to work with, including Miracle Whips, who put up most of their early points. Both teams were dedicated to offense, at the start or during jams, but Dallas’s tendency to start at the front left them vulnerable to offensive strikes from the New Skids.

Dallas was the first to give up a power jam when Acute Pain took on jamming the first time; she sat in the box with a high block penalty after claiming lead status. TerminateHer was forced to pinball through the quick hits of Dallas, and despite stashing the star at one point, was able to add eight points. The tables turned after that and The Honey Badger took a penalty, but Anita Riot ended the jam in the box which extended Montréal’s scoring streak. With under eight minutes left, Dallas was down 88-23.

The few occasions that Dallas took the back line, they would push back to the jammer to take away any space for lateral movement. This helped Miley Virus earn a much needed lead status for Dallas, but a slick star pass by Montréal got Mange Moi El Cul out and around the track for three points before Miley called it with two. Even when Dallas could find opportunities to swing the momentum, Montréal would quickly shut them down.

Both teams could give a nearly immovable quad-style defense, which would prompt an offensive player to break off from each as well. Some jams started with each team in the same tripod formation with their respective pivots ready to strike, even getting tangled in each other at one point. However, finite footwork by TerminateHer and the rest of the Montréal jammers helped them escape with the slightest opening, giving them a 63.2% lead jammer percentage in the first half.

At halftime Montréal led 95-58 with a surge of points coming from Dallas in the last few jams. The New Skids also led in the penalty count which showed that they could still perform well when down in the pack. Montréal took 11 penalties in each half while Dallas took eight and then nine, keeping consistency in the pack even though each team concentrated on a core set of blockers.

With 20 points in the first two jams of the second half, Dallas closed Montréal’s lead to 97-78, but two grand slams by Falcon Punch in the next jam pushed Montréal above the century mark. As Dallas’s jammers thought they were finding holes in the pack, Montreal’s blockers were quick to recycle and the likes of Surgical Strike would be there to crush jammer souls.

In the second half, Dallas line up on the back line a bit more often, but then Montréal would use the opposing quad as an extra blocker to trap Dallas jammers in the chaos. Although Dallas was able to steal more lead statuses in the second half, Montréal was able to pick up higher scoring jams when they had lead, and they were quick to pass or get out when Dallas had the advantage.

As the minutes ticked down, Montréal’s patience kicked up and they place a slow and safe game to get them through to the end. Even as Miley Virus racked up 18 points late in the half while Falcon Punch passed the star, a visibly hurting Mange Moi El Cul hung out in the infield with the star, trusting her blockers to hold down the fort.

In the final jam, Anita Riot was able to earn lead while on a power jam, but Miracle Whips returned to the track to outscore her, 14-4 on the jam, closing out the game with a New Skids win, 177-128. They advance in the bracket to take on the #1 seed London Rollergirls Saturday at 6pm EDT (11pm BST), while Dallas will enter the consolation bracket against the #7 seed Kallio at 12pm EDT (7pm EEST).

Return to Montréal Central throughout the weekend for scores and recaps and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for pictures and updates as well.

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